3 thoughts on “Does Writing Destroy Memory?

  1. “A deeper understanding of pristine or primary orality enables us
    better to understand the new world of writing, what it truly is, and
    what functionally literate human beings really are: beings whose
    thought processes do not grow out of simply natural powers but out
    of these powers as structured, directly or indirectly, by the technology
    of writing. Without writing, the literate mind would not and could
    not think as it does, not only when engaged in writing but normally
    even when it is composing its thoughts in oral form. More than any
    other single invention, writing has transformed human
    consciousness” (Ong 77).

    Ong pointed out that oral cultures had a problem with memorization in that they did not have the mental ability to memorize things. There was limitations but with the onset of writing, they were able to read what was forgotten. It is writing that separates the past from the present and without it, the present would be all we have to go by. It is true that without literacy, there would be no record of history. Writing gives the validity to history and without it, we would not be sure if what we hear is accurate or true. In that sense, I believe that writing is an extension of our memory just as the pen is an extension of our hands.

  2. This is kind of mind blowing if you think about it, when all we had to rely on was memory i think it made our minds sharper in the sense that we knew there was no other place to retain the information. With the introduction of writing down these stories maybe we did become a bit lazier but think about this, aside from possibly destroying our memory did writing open up the door to manipulating our memory?? Meaning if things are written down inaccurately and we refer back to them after our minds have let them fade are we altering our realties ?

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